15 Expectations of Your Inner Circle of Leaders
I aim to bring people close to me—my inner circle—who are healthy leaders, consummate professionals, and compassionate human beings. Before these people join my inner circle, I try my best to make certain they have the following traits and habits, or have the potential to reach them easily.
I hope these will help you to raise the bar for your own inner circle.
- Honor God and honor people. If we don’t align in these important personal values, I believe we will end up clashing and crashing. If a person does not honor God and honor people, I am not interested in working very closely with them.
- Pursue personal growth. I need the people closest to me to have a healthy understanding that the road to success is a relentless pursuit of becoming a better human being. Those in my inner circle must proactively grow.
- Tell me when I need to hear the hard truth. I ask those closest to me to tell me when I need to hear hard truths, when I mess up, or when I am going in the wrong direction.
- Help me grow. I need the people around me to help me grow. When a they read a great book, learn a new lesson, or figure out a new perspective, I want to learn about it from them.
- Protect my time. I will always respect and protect the time of those around me, and I ask for the same courtesy in return.
- Complete goals without reminders. I have worked with many who need constant reminders to get things done. Those are not good candidates for my inner circle.
- Have an impeccable work ethic. If I have to make sure a person is showing up and doing what needs to be done, I do not consider them to be mature enough yet for my inner team.
- Do the thinking before I do the thinking. If a person in my inner circle is in charge of a project, I ask that they do the thinking before they bring situations to me, unless of course we have agreed in advance to brainstorm together.
- Bring solutions along with the problems. I have had many high functioning leaders bring me lists of problems, as if I am the Answer Man. I am not. I need your help. I ask people to come up with several potential solutions that have been thoroughly thought through, so when we are together, decisions can be made.
- Give me options. When there is something under consideration, I ask my inner circle to give me at least three options, the pros and cons for each, and their recommendation(s). If I only get one option, it holds much less value because there is nothing for me to compare it to.
- Be engaged in the journey. If this is just a job to someone, I prefer not to work closely together. I look for someone who will be engaged in the mission. The members of my inner circle are my partners in keeping the dream alive. I love to see the people close to me actively contribute to and articulate the vision and remain connected to it.
- Watch out for the bottom line, the culture, and the team. If I have to ask someone to watch out for the bottom line, to protect the culture, or to bring the team together, we cannot work closely. If a person does not already know to watch for these fundamental areas in our organization, then they are not ready for greater responsibility on my inner team.
- Don’t get offended. Being offended or upset with people is a waste of time and energy. If someone is still at a level where they are constantly offended, I cannot have them in my inner circle.
- Practice excellence. Anything a person in my inner circle does must be done with excellence. No sloppy work.
- Enjoy the journey together. Finally, we have to laugh together—like laugh really hard. Crack up! Life is short; I want to work with people I enjoy being around. And I want them to feel the same.
Actionable Step: Start with the list above and adjust it to fit your journey. Start aligning with those closest to you so there is harmony and progress.
What I Am Reading Now: Crash the Chatterbox, by Steven Furtick about hearing God’s voice above all others.
For Further Reading: